Though figures in the second and third quarter of 2020 have shown the industry to be detrimentally affected by the Covid-19 crisis, the pandemic has forced remote-working prompting consumers to think about their connectivity needs, and the extension of their home to include their vehicle. The pandemic could then prove to be pivotal in more widescale adoption of connected vehicle technologies and robust consolidations over the next five years.


Listed below are the major milestones in the journey of the connected car theme, as identified by GlobalData.

1966 – Ford Thunderbird debuted with Highway Pilot cruise control, controlled from the steering wheel.

1981 – The personal computer (PC) era began.

1986 – Buick’s Riviera sports the first touchscreen in a car, the two-colour Graphic Control Centre. Reviews weren’t favourable…

1989 – BMW introduced drive-by-wire, AKA electronic throttle control (EML) on its 7-Series.

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1997 – Sweden’s parliament introduced a ‘Vision Zero’ policy that required all fatalities and serious injuries are reduced to zero by 2020.

2001 – New York state bans handheld cell phone use while driving.

2002 – Amazon Web Services launches a free service.

2003 – The UK’s government bans the use of handheld mobile phones while driving.

2004 – 802.11p Task Group formed to develop standards for vehicular telematics.

2004 – Voice control makes its first appearance in a car when Honda introduces.

2007 – Apple’s 1st generation iPhone is launched.

2010 – AEMP Telematics Data Standard V1.1[9] is released.

2010 – In November, Caterpillar, Volvo CE, John Deere, OEM Data Delivery and Navman Wireless are first to deliver to customers basic telematics data in a standard xml format.

2011 – Ford pioneered the integration of Spotify into its vehicles.

2012 – Tesla launched the Model S with 17in portrait display, digitalised switchgear and remote software updates (OTA) – an automotive first.

2013 – European Commission pledges $844m in funding for 5G as part of funding for Horizon 2020.

2015 – The ITU-R, a UN specialist group, publishes its vision, including a set of requirements for IMT-2020 (5G).

2016 – Audi showcases traffic light countdown indicator on cluster display at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

2016 – Volvo announces the integration of Spotify into all of its cars.

2016 – BMW launches gesture controls in its 7-Series.

2017 – BMW showcases HoloActive, a holographic centre display with ultrasonic feedback at CES.

2017 – The 3GPP signs offs first 5G specification, a major step towards the establishment of commercial 5G networks.

2018 – Renault demonstrates Level 4 autonomous drive in its Symbioz concept car, which is enabled with V2I toll payment technology and smart home connectivity.

2018 – SEAT shows a V2I application where traffic lights turn green when a car approaches at MWC, Barcelona.

2018 – The Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea features demonstrations of 5G applications.

2018 – Leading data centres started the migration to 400G data speeds.

2019 – Nuance announced the creation of Cerence, its automotive-focused spin-off.

2020 – Byton launches the M-Byte, sporting a 48in panoramic display.

2021 – Data centre speeds are forecast to exceed 1,000G.

2022 – Voice command expected to be fitted to 80% of vehicles.

2023 – There will be nearly 1.4 billion 5G subscriptions worldwide.

This is an edited extract from the Connected Car – Thematic Research report produced by GlobalData Thematic Research.